June marks the start of Pride Month, and while cities across America are preparing to paint their streets rainbow in celebration and honor of the LGBT+ community, cities across the world are doing the same. Flocks of people, both members of the LGBT+ community and allies ready to support their cause, will flood streets donning the Pride flag and proving that love truly is love, no matter what form it comes in. One Pride event, however, left out a letter of the acronym.
London Pride is being accused of bi erasure, and when reports started trickling in, out of the more than 300 groups slated to march in London Pride on July 8, there wasn’t a single one to specifically represent bisexuals. Instead, groups specifically for Supernatural and Avengers fans were on the list of marchers.
The official Pride in London Twitter account initially responded to the uproar over the news by stating that no bi groups had applied to march before applications closed, and that among the 50 groups on the waitlist, none were for bi representation. “Groups need to represent themselves by applying,” they tweeted. Activists claimed that submissions closed early and that organizers should have reached out to groups upon realizing that bisexuals wouldn’t be properly represented.
“The amount of young bisexuals (who are) about to realize just how invisible they are at this year’s Pride really makes me sad,” bisexual activist Lewis Oakley said. “Pride is supposed to represent and celebrate us all. If a bisexual group didn’t apply I feel it is their responsibility to put one together. It’s no secret bisexual people are hard to find we are the least likely subgroup to be out.”
Following the concerns of bi-visibility and the swift backlash, Pride in London released a statement announcing that the UK group BiPride was given space to march and would be inviting other groups to join them. "We have worked with bi-activists to ensure the bisexual community has high profile representation on our live stages, and will be a vital part of our ‘Love Happens Here’ publicity campaign.
"As a founder member of the UK Pride Organisers Network, Pride in London is proud to support the development of the Pride movement. Through this network we have met with and provided assistance to the committed volunteers who are setting up a dedicated BiPride for the UK.
"Following recent concerns of bi representation we’re delighted to confirm that BiPride will lead the UK Prides section of our parade. Whilst space is limited, BiPride will invite other bi groups to join them to show their support for the development of BiPride and to increase bi-visibility.”